Trustees approve new PMO center, fitness center expansion

December 18, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Saturday (Dec. 18) approved constructing a new home for Purdue Musical Organizations and the next phase of the Recreation Sports Center expansion.

Schmidt Associates of Indianapolis will design the new $8 million home for Purdue's vocal music organization that currently includes six choral ensembles and a handbell choir. The 18,000-square-foot Ralph and Bettye Bailey Hall will include study and rehearsal space for members, which after 70 years of PMO growth in the Elliott Hall of Music is in short supply.

"Bailey Hall will raise awareness of PMO programs and boost recruitment efforts," said PMO director William Griffel. "PMO's new home will provide a space specifically designed to meet the practice needs of our ensembles and will be a location to showcase our rich history and traditions."

Construction will be paid for entirely from gift funds. The Baileys made the lead gift of $4.5 million.

The trustees also approved a construction contract with Hagerman Inc. of Fort Wayne to complete the fifth of 11 phases in the $98 million Student Fitness and Wellness Center renovation and addition. This $11.65 million phase includes interior demolition of the Recreational Sports Center's original 1958 building and a connecting structure south of the East/West Gymnasium.

The Aquatics Center pool, East/West Gymnasium and the newly constructed Turf Recreational Exercise Center will remain open during this construction phase as will satellite fitness centers in Tarkington, Owen, Meredith, Harrison and Wiley halls, said Howard Taylor, director of Recreational Sports.

"The Student Fitness and Wellness Center has been conceived with user input to serve the overall health and recreation needs of Purdue students and staff," Taylor said. "When complete, it will make Purdue a more attractive and healthier place to pursue an education or career."

The project will be paid for with bond proceeds to be repaid from student and user fees.

The trustees' Physical Facilities Committee on Friday (Dec. 17) approved a request to plan installation of a 2,700-ton chiller at the Northwest Chiller Plant. Applied Engineering Services of Indianapolis will design the $2.9 million project to meet the increased demand for chilled water cooling stemming from campus expansion. The new chiller will be the last of six installed at the plant.

Writer:  Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262,

Sources:   William Griffel,

                   Howard Taylor, 765-494-3114,